Parking "problem is killing the town"

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Local residents are calling for the council to take action to address the dangerous parking on Buckingham Road following a recent accident.

Two fire engines were called to a two-vehicle collision at the junction of Westward Road and Buckingham Road at 3.30pm on Thursday, 28th November.

Fortunately on arrival crews discovered that no-one was trapped inside either of the vehicles which they made safe.

Firefighters assessed a female casualty and assisted police with traffic management.

Speaking about the accident Jacque Bilsborough said "Most people know of the danger involved driving down these roads and manipulating the junctions involved. We are knee deep in parked cars, some left all day in a dangerous place.

"Do you think that Cheshire East will not only take note but finally give us double yellow lines at every junction so drivers and pedestrians have visibility to cross safely?"

A spokesperson for Wilmslow Firestation said "People who work in Wilmslow Town need to be more considerate for emergency services vehicles as well, we have had issues with the roads that run off Altrincham Road in the past."

Other local residents commented on the Wilmslow Hub Facebook page:

"This has been an accident waiting to happen for a long time. People park so irresponsibly, right on the junction and make it impossible to see when you are pulling out. I do hope everyone involved is okay."

"The answer is not yellow lines because that is treating a symptom not the problem!Maybe the answer is an out of town car park with shuttle buses in to town for all the commuters. They could charge any businesses over say 5 employees a special parking tax if they don't provide a staff car park or rail/bus passes for staff?"

"I have been saying for at least the past year that the situation on that road is going to cause an accident. My only surprise and relief is that it wasn't a child stepping out from Gorsey Bank. I understand that CEC has limited funds, but I do wonder what the cost of extending junction protection double yellow lines is over multiple emergency vehicle call outs?"

Jules Abbot addressed local councillors to ask "Do we have to wait until someone is killed or seriously injured before CEC will provide the parking solution this town desperately needs. I have spoken to you and CEC Highways many times and they can only carry out a feasibility study.

"Buckingham Road is one way, people fail to give way to each other and play first to blink, people cannot safely pull out from the side roads as their view is blocked. Now I see there are plans for a new hotel in the centre, how does this fit in with the Neighbourhood Plan with sustainable parking provision. This problem is killing the town."

Councillor Dave Jefferay responded "I know it isn't what you want to hear but I've seen the draft of parking survey report and it's going to be a while until there are yellow lines on Buckingham Road. We all know how bad it is but a) there was nowhere near consensus in the survey on what to do down Buckingham road so there was a high risk that restrictions proposals wouldn't pass consultation (I know that sounds daft) and b) the council cannot put lines down until there is somewhere for all those cars to go, which the council is working on. I know you all think they should get on with building it but the council has limited funds (and when I say limited funds I mean no funds) to do it so they have to make the case to borrow it to invest.

"I'm waiting to hear where they are up to on it but I am hoping the business case will be done ready for the design work to be done in the next financial year. However, even, assuming we get the go-ahead (and it is looking very positive), I know it isn't what you want to hear but we are talking years not months before it is built. Feel free to shoot the messenger, it's part of my job."



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Vince Chadwick
Friday 29th November 2019 at 4:39 pm
Yellow lines ARE the answer! Or at least a vital part of the answer.

Providing more car parks, in or out of town, is all well and good but as long as these inconsiderate parkers can park at roadsides for free, they will continue to do so rather than pay car park charges.
Robert Taylor
Saturday 30th November 2019 at 2:53 pm
Agree with Vince.

Further this is basic non-adhereance to traffic rules coupled with weak enforcement (all pointed out by residents many times before). Engagement of more wardens and back office admin would quickly will pay for themselves through a zero-tollerance ticketing regime.

As for 'the council cannot put lines down until there is somewhere for all those cars to go'.. if the councilor would like direction on transport planning and demand management I would be pleased to assist him and the council's consultant fee of charge.

I would reiterate once again that a town the size of Wilmslow, most of which is walking-scale, doesn't require any more surface or multi-storey carparks - such facilities would quickly be utilised to capacity and are a wasteful use of land.

Think about this in the context of fewer spaces available will reduce inward travel demand by private car and less congestion at peak hours on main routes, but this form of approach would require a town-wide program of parking restrictions and charges to be in place.
Rick Andrews
Sunday 1st December 2019 at 10:15 am
Parking near junctions is not allowed - Highway Code is very clear about this. Who can issue penalty notices to enforce the rules?
Manuel Golding
Monday 2nd December 2019 at 8:51 pm
Yellow lines ARE NOT THE ANSWER - all they do is move the cars from your front gate to someone elses front gate.
Resudents of Wilmslow along with our (RoW) CEC councillors (Cllrs Toni Fox, David Jefferies, Mark Goldsmith & Iain Macfarlane) are working strenuously to alleviate the menace of all-day parking by incomers who care not a jot for the inconvenience they perpetrate upon our householders.
The answer is to build new off road car parks. but these take time to construct with planning permissions, legal documentation and more. However, Wilmslow car parks netted a surplus last year of approx £900,000 (the last year of the previous Conservative council). Where did that profit disappear to? Certainly not to alleviate Wilmslow's parking problem. It could have been used to start the RoW plan for multi level parking but they didn't want to know.
Our new RoW councillors are now exploring this solution at council level; time is not on our side as all these matters must go through the legal loopholes first.
Vince Chadwick
Monday 2nd December 2019 at 9:52 pm
And how do you plan to persuade inconsiderate parkers to use these car parks Manual Golding, assuming they ever get built, when they can park at zero cost to them at the roadside? Yellow lines ARE INDEED part of the solution.
Manuel Golding
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 1:34 pm
RoW has put forward proposals to pursue illegal parkers when yellow lines force them to park elsewhere. We need prohibited parking on roads which must be adequately enforced (parking tickets, tow-aways etc) to force any law breaking car parkers to use the proposed multi level car park facilities which we hope will be built in the near future. Yellow lines only are NOT THE SOLUTION, as I've said before all they do is give someone else the problem. Such as you support is typical nimbyism advocated by the myopic; we must think more strategically & be aware that it maybe easy to shift muck from my house only to put the muck in front of someone else's house. Not clever!
By the way. I'm not involved with manuAl labour!!!!
Roy Simpson
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 3:19 pm
Beats me how they can say theres no money.What about the millions of pounds they are raking in from car-parking? Plus extra fees for tipping rubbish at council tips. I was charged a pound a block to put them in a skip £7 and I took them there.
Raymond James Wallace
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 4:20 pm
I agree with Vince Chadwick, we can go round and round in circles, it’s human nature, if you can get something for nothing. It’s not that these people have any respect or consideration for people, I see old ladies and men trying to back out of their paths onto a main road like Macclesfield Road, whilst having to navigate parked cars right up to there paths, I’ve had to do the same on many occasions and it’s terrifying. Unless there’s a solution which would be free for these people, it is never going to happen. Yellow lines would do the job immediately, but on the other hand it’ll only move the problem elsewhere. The sooner shopping on line takes over the better, problem solved.
David Nelson
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 5:12 pm
Bourne Street one way; buckingham rd. one way
Fiona Doorbar
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 5:27 pm
Quite an ageist comment above, no doubt young folk struggle off their paths too and we should be trying to support our high street independent retailers in these tough trading days. What a soulless place Wilmslow would be if internet shopping took over...there would only be coffee shops (but these will no doubt be available on the likes of Deliveroo etc soon!) and barbers. Be careful what you wish for....
John Duckworth
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 6:03 pm
No money, now we know - so don't expect anything now or in the near future or far future.

When the priority is given to all-day parking in Wilmslow by none residents over the residents of Wilmslow. (the council admit this,) Wilmslow has to find somewhere for them to park before Yellow lines can be put down, this beggars belief.

We blamed the previous Conservative councillors now the blame will soon be with ROW, then in just under 4 years, the blame will pass on yet again to whichever party is voted in. Then in turn blame will be placed with Cheshire East Council with its Labour majority over the last Conservative majority cabinet. We were told this cabinet system was to change, believe this when you see it.

The sole problem is all-day parking by none residents - it is their problem and their problem alone. Whatever you offer they will not pay for parking. We have suitable parking for these all day parkers - they are not interested.

People say they spend money in Wilmslow - THIS IS NOT THE CASE SEE THE MASS EXODUS EVERY EVENING AND CLEAR ROADS OVER THE WEEKEND ONLY FOR THEM TO RETURN ON MONDAY FOR FREE PARKING. Perhaps they purchase the odd sandwich at lunchtime to stop the demise of Wilmslow - I think not.

If Cheshire East have no money then local councillors will have to think outside the box without money what can they do?

Counsellors regardless of what party they represent are being paid £12,000 plus per year to work part-time for their constituents, come on please get the job done. It's not as difficult as what is being implied.
Eric Butterworth
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 7:36 pm
We have already had a problem on Leaside way where a fire occurred at a property at the entrance to the development, a fire engine was blocking the road whilst dealing with the fire and because of double Parkers it was impossible to get in or out of the estate which could have caused some people major problems . As this small development is in a cul-de-sac situation , parking by out of towners , school six formers et al is making life difficult for residents especially around 3pm when parents are collecting their little darlings who appear to have lost the use of their legs these days , we have multiple vehicles blocking drives , manoevering of cars drivers being rude and causing a general nuisance , this inconvenience for resident needs to be put a stop to and sooner rather than later . It has been said previously, that it matters not how many car parks are built , irresponsible drivers will still park in residential areas rather than pay ! to the detriment of people who live there .
Robert Taylor
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 8:11 pm
Hi Manuel, I commend you for continuing to persue the appraoch which considers catering for the demand for car parking in the town but you have missed my point. I am seeking to demonstrate to you that the demand cannot be catered for into perpetuity - if capacity is provided it will soon be full, this is called induced demand - at some point it has to stop because we cannot keep proposing more and more car parks!

My opinion on this is to look at the problem. The problem is not really parking at all it is the use of the priate car for commuting trips into Wilmslow. Now Wilmslow is not unique in this respect but if we were to create a town-wide parking strategy which alowed a certain amount of all-day parking but restricted most of the areas to residents-only it would influence the capacity (reduce it a bit) and therefore reduce the demand. Take this example:- in your comments in another article about the Post Office you mentioned the local bus services deteriorating. By making it easier to park you are in fact providing a massive disadvantage to bus and rail or cycle, and even walking options. By disadvantaging the bus sevice by providing parking you are in fact adding to the parking issues.

There are many towns and cities in the UK which have successfully managed commuting - Nottingham is one - and it is worthwhile looking at a publication by The Great British High Street entitled the GBHS What Works. By the way adding car park demand and encouraging the use of private cars is actually climate-change issue and very definately a Big Picture problem.
David Smith
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 8:55 pm
Whenever a councillor spouts forth on matters car parking in Wilmslow, it just goes to prove what a load of Muppets we have in charge of doing something about this menace that has been annoying so many residents for far too long. I said ages ago that there must be in place a system that MAKES these senseless and selfish motorists ACTUALLY go and park in a car park that one day MIGHT be built at great cost to the council tax payers who are not those who park their cars all over the place [including pavements and grass verges]. So start moving them on NOW. A residents parking system is probably the ONLY system that does not disadvantage the residents and their visitors. The cost of such a scheme must not be paid for by residents who have the right to expect a council to maintain safety on Wilmslow's roads. I might also add that parking in cycle lanes is a DANGER to cyclists. Did you get that Wilmslow councillors? A DANGER - as are all the wet leaves festering in the gutters where cyclists are supposed to cycle. There should be a councillor ‘cycle day’ where ALL councillors spend a day cycling around town and we then see how many are still alive at the end of it.
Peter Davenport
Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 10:21 pm
Re the Wilmslow Hub comment re the shortage of money at Cheshire East, I would like to reming all our taxpayers, that wheen the Conservatives had total control, 36 out of the 48 Conservatives got extra payments for whatevr. I now hope our new situation this number has been reduced, as I know there must be a payment for who do a lot of background work, so there must be some , where there must be a question mak about the reasons for this.
The suggestion by one of your correspondents, re varied prices for all day parkers, ie like there houses in certain street in Alderley, who pay a yearly fee outside their houses. A varied idea of this out to be tried on certain places in Wilmslow to give some alleviation of the problem. One problem is CE do no listen, as if you sit in an office at Crewe, what do know about Wilmslow?
Simon Worthington
Thursday 5th December 2019 at 9:41 am
A significant part of the problem was caused by the various historic and present councils rolling over and letting Pete's mob tickle their tummies. A prime example is the overbearing four storey office block (behind Smoke/Camarena on Water Lane) built three or four years ago on what was mainly parking and a showroom which was given planning permission years ago for just that purpose. Now it has about four spaces for several thousand sqft. Pete's mob then had the audacity to object to a residential development on Grove Stree behind the eyesore he was bunging up.This went on for years with all the office car parks built on with our myopic and vastly under talented councillors/planners insisting that all the employees will walk, cycle or (laughably) take public transport.
I have suggested to a few people that a Wilmslow Whatsapp group organises themselves and every few days park in as many spaces on residential streets as possible until after 9am or even all day.
This country needs to take a long hard look at commuting and discourage it wherever possible not just to attempt to resolve our local problem but to reduce the emission of gases allegedly affecting the climate. AND TAKE AWAY THE CAR OF ANY FULE VOTING GREEN PARTY.
Helen Williams
Thursday 5th December 2019 at 10:05 am
I agree yellow lines are the answer together with inforcement. If parking is limited commuters need to consider alternatives, car sharing, cycling, the train/ bus etc . It's not the responsibility of Wilmslow residents to provide parking for commuters.
It is the council's responsibility to keep residents safe and enforce restrictions.
Christine McClory
Thursday 5th December 2019 at 12:51 pm
I like the idea of us all parking outside our houses until after 8.30. We do need the car park and it does take time to build one. The new reformed council are, I believe, doing their best to get this done. Meanwhile, I do think that double yellow lines around the corners of Westward Road and Buckingham Road, are necessary for safety reasons... to remind people not to obscure the view of people using junctions.
David Smith
Thursday 5th December 2019 at 1:33 pm
I might add here something that I have already posted several times. NAMELY: that "all vehicles MUST display parking lights when parked on a road or a lay-by on a road with a speed limit greater than 30 mph (48 km/h)" This is an extract from the highway code rule 249. Look it up at the link:

The LAW that backs this up is also referred to at the link:

and defines what night is. So all those cars parked on Manchester Road - that also just happen to be in a cycle lane too - are all breaking the law if they park at night without lights. I would like to know WHEN these motorists who are breaking the LAW will be booked accordingly ASAP. I expect all councillors to request such action from our local police. I also do not expect a 'warning' or 'advisory note' stuck on their windscreens politely asking them if perhaps at some time in the near future they might be so kind as to consider parking somewhere else where there is no requirement to display lights at night. I expect a FULL booking for this motoring OFFENCE to be applied without condition and no let-off be allowed or a warning given.
Councillors please note: I expect a reply HERE for all contributors to see what action you have organised. Especially from Councillor MARK GOLDSMITH who has stated that regarding an advisory cycle lane “CARS CAN PARK ON THEM”. This is incorrect. The Highway Code states - “do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable.” I do not think UNAVOIDABLE means ‘can’t find a car park or can’t be bothered to leave the car at home or I’ll leave it here and save money on car parking charges”.
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 5th December 2019 at 4:55 pm
@David Smith

I visited our CCTV centre in Macclesfield last night to see what they do and why Wilmslow Town Council subsidises them. All very impressive, but I was told that regularly at night, there are only 1 or 2 policemen on call for the whole of north Cheshire. Therefore, I will not be demanding they book cars parked without lights as I'm guessing they have more serious matters to attend to.

Moving on to the comments about parking from other people:

- If we want local shops for local people, then presumably only Handforth residents can use Handforth Dean or Trafford people can shop at the Trafford Centre? However, we all shop in other places and those residents can shop here too. That's how town centres function.

- Cars that are taxed, insured and with an MOT are allowed to park on any road without a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). It means we get to park on roads that invariably other people live on. Likewise, they get to do the same.

- However, many of our residential roads are swamped by overspill parking from our town centre. Years of allowing offices to be built without adequate staff parking has created the problem. But office workers provide much needed income for our shops and without them, Waitrose, Boots, Greggs and many, many others would soon leave Wilmslow. Therefore, we must provide somewhere more appropriate for office workers and shop staff to park instead.

- The town’s main all-day car park is full by 8.10am weekday mornings. This is when ample free parking is available on residential roads. Therefore, drivers clearly will pay to park. Most however, do not have the option because the car park is full.

- Cheshire East now fully agree with us that a new all-day car park is needed. Work is underway to build one. It will be an investment, so will not come from Cheshire East's operational budget. Therefore, they can borrow the money (at a very low interest rate) to fund its building.

- Once built, we can see if residential roads are still swamped with parking and introduce yellow lines where necessary. However, where clear safety issues exist eg at some road junctions, then we will look to introduce yellow lines BEFORE a new car park is built.

- The yellow lines on Alderley Road and Bedells Lane have now been finalised and will be installed early in the New Year. The yellow lines on Knutsford Road are being adapted after consultation with the residents and should follow soon after.

-- £500,000 is also being spent next year to improve Wilmslow's cycle and walking routes. This is likely to make the cycle lanes on Manchester Road and Alderley Road mandatory rather than advisory, so parking will unequivocally not be allowed on them.

- Also next year, 60 more parking spaces will be created at Wilmslow Leisure centre as part of its £1.5m revamp.

After decades of neglect and ignoring the parking problems, your new councillors have had to start completely from scratch to get them fixed. Therefore, we have been working hard behind the scenes to get the improvements made and to get investment back into Wilmslow.

You will start to see this work coming through from 2020 onwards but key to a long-term solution (that also keeps our town centre alive) is to build a new all-day car park. Therefore, it will take several years to fully implement all the necessary changes.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley
John Duckworth
Thursday 5th December 2019 at 9:00 pm
Statement by Mark Goldsmith

"If we want local shops for local people, then presumably only Handforth residents can use Handforth Dean or Trafford people can shop at the Trafford Centre? However, we all shop in other places and those residents can shop here too. That's how town centres function."

Rather a silly comment I think, people normally shop in their own town when possible and park for a short time - for example, if I want to shop in Grove Street I try and park in Grove Avenue for the time that is allowed - if I want to shop and have lunch then I PAY for parking - the same applies if I want to shop in another town.

The comments made are not about people shopping in Wilmslow its about ALL DAY PARKING BY NONE RESIDENTS FOR FREE who leave at the end of the day and do not come back over the weekend - but return on Monday for another week of FREE parking. Car parks can be built, they will still not use them.

Lots of people voted for you because you agreed that we had an ALL DAY parking problem and believed you had the answer, after all, you and your party blamed the Conservatives for not sorting out the problem, I don't expect solutions in your first 6months of you joining the council - I do expect not having to wait years - Yellow lines were in the pipeline before you became a councillor I think.

At the end of the day, people are not interested in promises or what is being attempted, they want results no matter how small.
Mark Goldsmith
Saturday 7th December 2019 at 9:59 am
@John Duckworth

Many of the all-day, out-of-town parkers you condemn are those working in the shops and restaurants you are visiting. Their jobs also rely on our office workers you condemn who buy their lunch and many impulse lines while they are there. These facilities would not survive without this source of trade. This is not a silly comment, it is a fact. Just look at the shops on Chapel Lane to see what our town centre would become if it only had local trade to live off.

And how do you classify who is local or not? As you have to drive into town does that make you local? So how local is local? What roads do you draw the line on? It's a bizarre concept that understandably no other town adopts. It's a concept so bizarre it was a long running part of BBC2's comedy The League of Gentlemen with their "Local shops for local people" running gag. Town centres need to attract people from a wide catchment area to survive, so we have to accommodate them, not exclude them.

This means giving them somewhere appropriate to park and that means a new all-day car park. This has been talked about for a decade but it is only now being progressed. This is because your new Residents of Wilmslow councillors have pushed Cheshire East Highways to acknowledge we have a big problem and that they have to invest in Wilmslow. Work is underway to scope out how big a car park we need, where it could go, what will it cost, how will it be built, how will cars access it and how do we mitigate the disruption when building it. We should find this out in February/ March next year, so we can work on getting it built.

As for the yellow lines in the pipeline, well we thought the same. Given all the press releases on this web site from the previous Conservative councillors highlighting the problems. However, we were shocked to find out that nothing at all had been done to deliver them. It was all talk. The Highways team didn't even know Alderley Road was a priority. The only thing they were working on was yellow lining Macclesfield Road. A road far less affected by problem parking than many others but coincidentally, it is the road where the previous councillor lived. Draw your own conclusions. Consequently, we had to start completely from scratch on this and all the other parking problems in the town.

The yellow lines on Alderley Road and Bedells Lane could have gone down this month, but Cheshire East has a policy not to do town centre lining in December because of the disruption to Christmas trade. Therefore, it will be the New Year when they finally get done along with the revised Knutsford Road lines.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Jonathan Follows
Saturday 7th December 2019 at 11:16 am
It's good to have the update from Councillor Goldsmith, thank you. I understand what you're saying and why. The problem is the general inability of local government to do anything for the people who elect them, so "Council says it will clamp down on nuisance parking in Wilmslow" ( is old news and all that we see is that nothing gets done.

Promises made at election time turn into foot dragging and excuses, I'm not saying that the excuses are invalid but the impression given at election time is that change will be immediate and for the better, and this usually isn't the case.

Are we justified in our cynicism about the inability of local government to make a difference? Or is it our fault for believing the promises and not getting personally more engaged?
Jonathan Follows
Friday 17th January 2020 at 8:11 am
Is this a good place to follow up and ask exactly when the yellow lines on Alderley Road are going to be painted? It's now January 17th., the "illegal" cones which were preventing parking have gone, and cars are again parking on Alderley Road opposite the Coach and Four. I don't like the excuse for not painting lines in December, but it is what it is, but now we're well into 2020 so can someone get on with this please? If the answer is that work is starting next Monday, that would be good.